Aine Coleman

My name is Aine Coleman, and I am in my second year of the L’Oréal Degree Apprenticeship programme with Pearson College London.

Why did you choose a Degree Apprenticeship over a degree?

After school, I took a year out and was planning on going to university; however, after visiting my friends and working full time, I realised I much preferred to be busy and working rather than solely studying. As well as this, I didn’t like the university lifestyle of not having any money! I have travelled a lot since leaving school and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without having a job. Working and doing a degree at the same time has given me great experience and really useful skills such as time management.

What was your experience of the application process? Do you have any tips for others going through the application process?

The application was really easy as you can see all of the available companies all in one place on the Pearson College London website. For the interview process, make sure on the day you are well prepared, come early and make sure you look like you are happy to be there! You should have examples ready about when you have shown certain life skills such as being a team player.

Tell us about a typical day at L’Oréal?

I come in, check my emails, have a catch up with my manager and then get on with my work. Every day is really different for me – I usually have a lot of emails about Facebook Business Manager as I currently help manage that for the business. Further to this, I spend a lot of my day setting up campaigns for all the brands we have, as well as assessing how well their previous campaigns have performed.

Is there a project you’ve worked on that you’re particularly proud of? What did it involve?

We currently do MMM (Marketing Mix Model) studies which look at the effectiveness of campaigns, (such as TV, influencers posts, Instagram and Facebook) compared with our sales. I collected the data for this study and an external company then examined and modelled the data. This study was extremely useful for the brands and really shaped the way the team campaigned products.

Have you found any aspect of the Degree Apprenticeship challenging?

Balancing university work and L’Oréal work is the hardest part. It is rewarding when you submit your work but during the time it can get a bit stressful and tiring.

What have you found most rewarding?

I think that getting a good grade in my coursework for university was when I felt most proud. This really shows me my capabilities of being able to balance both aspects of the degree apprenticeship.

What would you say to others who are considering a Degree Apprenticeship?

Do it! Choosing this over the traditional university route was the best decision I ever made, not only am I free from student debt, I also have so much to put on my CV from my time working for L’Oréal. Not to mention, lots of free products and haircuts! It is the harder option, but doing a degree apprenticeship has been the best way to get a degree and I am constantly encouraging others to do the same!